Cabu in Paris, in March 2008
Cabu in Paris, in March 2008
Born Jean Maurice Jules Cabut
(1938-01-13)13 January 1938
Châlons-en-Champagne, France
Died 7 January 2015(2015-01-07) (aged 76)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Area(s) Cartoonist
Notable works
Charlie Hebdo
Le Canard enchaine
Signature of Cabu

Jean Maurice Jules Cabut (13 January 1938 – 7 January 2015), known by the pen-name Cabu (French: [kaby]), was a French comic strip artist and caricaturist. He died in the January 2015 shooting attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices.[1][2] Cabut was a staff cartoonist and shareholder at Charlie Hebdo.[3]


Cabu started out studying art at the École Estienne in Paris and his drawings were first published by 1954 in a local newspaper. The Algerian War forced him to be conscripted in the army for over two years, where his talent was used in the army magazine Bled and in Paris Match. His time in the army caused him to become a strident anti-militarist and adopt a slightly anarchistic view of society.[3]

In 1960, after he left the Army, he became one of the founders of Hara-Kiri magazine. In the 1970s and 1980s, he became a popular artist, collaborating for a time with the children's TV programme Récré A2. He continued working in political caricature for Charlie Hebdo and Le Canard enchaîné.

His popular characters include Le Grand Duduche and adjudant Kronenbourg, and especially Mon Beauf.[4] So spot-on was this caricature of an average, racist, sexist, vulgar, ordinary Frenchman that the word 'beauf' (short for "beau-frère", i. e., brother-in-law) has slipped into ordinary use.[5]

In February 2006, a Cabu cartoon which appeared on the cover of Charlie Hebdo in response to the Danish cartoons affair caused more controversy and a lawsuit. It depicted the Muslim prophet Muhammad under the caption "Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists", crying "C'est dur d'être aimé par des cons!" ("So hard to be loved by jerks!").

From September 2006 to January 2007, an exhibition entitled Cabu and Paris was organised at the Paris city hall.[6]


Cabu was killed, along with seven of his colleagues, two police officers, and two others, on 7 January 2015 in the Charlie Hebdo shooting when armed gunmen stormed the newspaper's offices in Paris. He died 6 days before his 77th birthday.[1][2][7]

The asteroid 320880 Cabu was named in his memory on June 5, 2016 by its discoverer Jean-Claude Merlin.[8]

Personal life[]

Cabu was the father of the French singer/songwriter Mano Solo (24 April 1963 – 10 January 2010).



  1. ^ a b "Les dessinateurs Charb et Cabu seraient morts". L'Essentiel (in French). France. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015. Le directeur de la publication et dessinateur satirique Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier) et Cabu seraient morts selon les informations du Point (via un tweet). Charb avait été annoncé gravement blessé selon plusieurs sources, que relayaient Le Monde et Le Figaro. 
  2. ^ a b "LIVE. Massacre in "Charlie Hebdo": 12 dead, including Charb and Cabu". Le Point. 
  3. ^ a b Obituary in the Daily Telegraph, 7 January 2015.
  4. ^ Aubenas, Florence (2 January 1996). "Les personnages de l'année 1995". Libération (in French). Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Larousse Dictionary definition of "beauf", cf. online ion
  6. ^ Cabu et Paris (Hoëbeke, 2006). ISBN 9782842302566
  7. ^ "EN DIRECT. Massacre chez "Charlie Hebdo" : 12 morts, dont Charb et Cabu". Le (in French). 
  8. ^ MPC 100610, 5 June 2016